A CALL was made to pay more attention to sport in an attempt to increase national income yesterday, the concluding day of the Scientific Research Forum in Sports Economics, organised by the Bahrain Olympic Committee (BOC).
Yesterday’s first session started with deputy chairman of the board of directors and deputy director general, Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Dr Ahmed bin Saad Al Sharif of the UAE speaking on the influence of sport on international economics.
“Sport has a significant role in the development of any nation, it is a motivator to economic growth and has great impact on tourism, way of life and public health,” said Al Sharif.
Al Sharif also urged the private sector to play a crucial part to help the country gain a financial boost through sports investments, and referred to Dubai as a successful model.
“Dubai has become one the fastest growing cities in the world with an income of 2.4-million Emirati Dirhams daily from sports tourism,” added Al Sharif.
Later on, Dr Wesam Al Shaikhli, president of the Iraqi Academy of Sciences, spoke on the importance of sports medicine, and referred to the British experiment as an example.
Al Shaikhli added that there are 130,000 staff members at the Academy of Scientific Research and Training who work as coaches, teachers, administrators and medical teams.
Vice-dean of Business Faculty at King Abdulaziz University and supervisor of Masters Programme in Sports Administration Dr Ammar Al Rifai of Saudi Arabia discussed the monopoly of telecasting rights in the Middle East.
Al Rifai added that monopoly does not serve the economy, but competition does, and noted that the former affects sports media in other sports channels in the region.
“In the US, anti-monopoly laws prevent a television carrier from monopolising a single sports league, but it has more than one television network. The World Cup, for example, is broadcast via three channels. The finals are offered free of charge to local channels,” said Al Rifai.
It was followed by a presentation by Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Metabolism doctor Ghalia Shamlan.
The forum concluded with BOC secretary general Abdulrahman Askar presenting certificates to the participants and awards to the speakers.